Lovell 7980


Senator Ferns moved to amend the bill by striking out the title and substituting therefor a new title, to read as follows:

Eng. Com. Sub. for Senate Bill No. 76 -- A Bill to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated 61-11B-1, 61-11B-2, 61-11B-3, 61-11B-4, and 61-11B-5, all relating to establishment of a criminal offense reduction program; creating the criminal offense classification of reduced misdemeanor; setting forth legislative intent; setting forth definitions; allowing persons convicted of certain criminal felony offenses to petition under specified circumstances for reduction of the felony to misdemeanor status; setting forth limitations; providing for reduced offense status to be reflected on criminal records; expressly providing that reduction of felony offense means person shall not be deemed as being convicted of a felony for certain legal purposes or restrictions; clarifying that a reduced misdemeanor may not be expunged; clarifying that criminal offense reduction is in the discretion of the circuit court; establishing procedures for petition to the court; requiring payment of a filing fee when filing petition; directing a fee be paid to the State Police to offset costs associated with facilitating the purposes of this article; setting forth information to be included on the petition; providing for notification of petition to certain persons; requiring prosecuting attorney to contact identified victims; providing for notice of opposition to the petition by certain persons; establishing burden and standard of proof for petitions; providing for a hearing and setting forth procedures; providing for entry of an order by the court; authorizing court to enter an order directing certain records to reflect reduction of a felony offense to the status of reduced misdemeanor; requiring certification of compliance to the court; and providing for disclosure requirements; and granting employers limited civil immunity for hiring of convicted felons and persons in reduced misdemeanor status and exceptions thereto.